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Honor  By  cover art

Honor

By: Thrity Umrigar
Narrated by: Sneha Mathan
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Publisher's Summary

THE JANUARY 2022 REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

“In the way A Thousand Splendid Suns told of Afghanistan’s women, Thrity Umrigar tells a story of India with the intimacy of one who knows the many facets of a land both modern and ancient, awash in contradictions.” —Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena—a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man—Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

©2022 Thrity Umrigar (P)2022 Algonquin Books

Critic Reviews

Honor is an utterly engrossing novel about two very different women whose lives converge after an unspeakable act of violence in India. With insight and compassion, Thrity Umrigar writes masterfully about the complexities of hatred and love, estrangement and belonging, oppression and privilege, about holding on and letting go. A powerful, important, unforgettable book.”
—Cheryl Strayed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild

Honor by Thrity Umrigar is about an Indian-American journalist named Smita who returns to India on assignment. The story she’s covering is an emotionally riddled one that utilizes the lives of characters to portray the cultural realities of India, both new and old. Her experiences lift the veil on the complexities of journalism and leave Smita questioning her boundaries as a reporter. Complex and unfiltered, these are the type of characters that stick with you long after you turn the pages . . . Powerful story about family, devotion, and cultural truths all through the eyes of an incredible journalist.”   —Reese Witherspoon, the January 2022 Reese’s Book Club Pick

Honor is a novel of profound depths—cultural, personal, romantic, spiritual. It’s also a story of tremendous grace, both in the understanding it shows its characters and in the ways they navigate a brutal but stunning life.” —Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Great Believers 

What listeners say about Honor

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Wow.

This book is a genius piece of writing. Not only is this about tragic outward circumstances, but also inward turmoil in response tragic events and how the lens we use can jade us to believe something that’s isn’t necessarily true. This book is very human and I found the characters to be believable. I wasn’t prepared to need the tissues. The performance of the reader is outstanding! Bravo!

4 people found this helpful

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Great story

Great story with many twists and turns. Well narrated and easy to follow. Found myself wanting to listen at every chance I could get. Usually I listen in the car but I listened to this book in the car, while getting ready in the morning, and while cooking.

3 people found this helpful

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Audible version was amazing

I absolutely loved this book. So engaging, well written and narrated. The author touched my heart and mind as the story unfolded. The narrator was just amazing. She truly did justice to the story and her ability to change accent and tone to give life to the various characters was one of the best I have heard. Well done... I highly recommend, although be prepared... this story will move you.

3 people found this helpful

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Slow start but wow what a story

Could not put it down and highlights a world problem with women being treated like property.

3 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t put it down!

This story was one of the best books I’ve ever read/listened to. There were sad parts that really opened my eyes. Then there were parts in the story they brought me joy. I’ll be buying the hard-copy to save forever.

3 people found this helpful

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Human heart

This book is moving, inspiring, and captivating! A passionate reading that will humble your heart, inspire you to do more, and know there is good in the world. Never stop believing in love and a hope for a better future.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful

Absolutely loved this book so very much, wonderfully sad and heart warming. Enjoyed it

2 people found this helpful

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Stunning

I loved reading this story. It was very compelling. I stayed up till 1:00 in the morning finishing it when I got close to the end. I would recommend this book to almost anyone. The stories of both women are very compelling and kept me hooked the entire time. The performance was excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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India different yet still the same

While being a woman/girl in America has its worry-it is nothing compared to other nations around the world. This beautifully written book about a young woman whose husband was killed and she was left for dead just because she was Hindi and he was Muslim. I teach about the Indian Caste system in my classes, but this book shows the true devastation that still exists there 1000s of years after the country was started.

Smita is an Indian American journalist who is sent to India to cover the trial of Meena’s brothers in their attempt to murder her alongside her husband. While in India-Smita sees a different side of India, and there are still good people in the country.

Loved this tale of cultural differences, injustice that Americans could never image, and forgiveness, ultimate forgiveness.

2 people found this helpful

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changed my perspective

This book was hard to put down. while brutality violent, also compelling to read about the courage and motivation of each character.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 01-16-22

10stars

Thanks to Thrity Umrigar for helping us travel in time, across cultures and across continents! 5stars not enough.
A standing ovation for the narration of Sneha Mathan giving respect to all the characters and bringing them to life in an authentic way.

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  • Laura
  • 06-15-22

I feel like I'll miss these characters

This was wonderfully narrated and completely gripping. I fell in love the characters as they explore their past and their potential future. Fascinating scenario of American Indian Journalist travelling back to Mumbai to face her buried past.

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  • Louise Roberts
  • 05-19-22

Okay

A bit long winded, a good enough read with some eye opening content but dragged a little I'm afraid!

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  • Mini Travellers
  • 02-09-22

Utterly brilliant

Don’t hesitate to download this, it is an utterly compelling book beautifully narrated and incredibly brilliant: loved it.

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  • Mr J M.
  • 01-28-22

Mesmerising. Unforgettable. Masterfully narrated.

Absolutely loved this book. Very difficult to listen to in parts due to the graphic nature but all the better for it. Characters are so well developed and believable. Fantastic book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-12-22

FIVE STARS FROM ME!!!

This has to be the “One Of The Best Books of 2022”. From start to till the end i was so emotional both the writer and narrator did a such a GOOD job with this book! Honestly usually i don’t pick or read these kind of books if it’s up to me but i want to give it a try after i saw that this is Reese’s Book Club January pick and i’m SO GLAD that i did!! Please waste no time and read this!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-25-22

A deeply affecting read

I’ve finished this book feeling deeply aware of my privilege in life. This story was moving and beautifully narrated. To know that it is in part based in present time is disturbing and eye opening for me. The transition between time periods and keeping Smita’s backstory held back until later in the book kept my interest piqued the entire way through. Not an easy listen because of the subject matter but one that will stay with me for a long time to come.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-22

Beautiful

Amazing story, captivate, the narrators voice was amazing . Couldn’t stop listening . A must listen . Y

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  • virrrr
  • 02-25-22

Such a moving story

The story takes over you and shows a hard side of humanity. But it’s reality and moving words makes it impossible to stop.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-22

Amazing

This book & performance really drew me in, from the first minute to the last. It’s a heart-wrenching story that will have you crying & emotionally attached throughout. One of the best books I’ve listened to in a long time.